BMW has taken a step in localizing battery production for future electric vehicles. The automaker on Wednesday announced a partnership with Envision AESC for a dedicated battery plant in South Carolina.
The two companies said in a press release the plant will have an annual production capacity of 30 gigawatt-hours and will be powered by 100% pure carbon-0 energy. A location has not been chosen, but the plant will supply cells for BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina, which is located in the northwest of the state.
AESC says it will deliver next-generation cells with 20% higher energy density, faster charging speeds and 30% higher EV range for BMW models built in Spartanburg by 2030 But the company did not provide a specific time for battery factory production. AESC also doesn’t disclose the total amount of the investment — although BMW has clarified that it represents a $1.7 billion investment from the automaker in its US facilities.
BMW assembly plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
“Envision AESC is committed to sourcing critical cobalt, lithium and nickel battery components from certified mines, providing full transparency of mining methods and ensuring responsible mining.” the company said in a statement. “The company is increasingly relying on recycled materials, which will contribute to reducing CO2 emissions from cell manufacturing in the new plant.”
AESC was founded in 2008 by Nissan and NEC and is best known as the cell supplier for the Nissan Leaf. It became Envision AESC and an independent company with sell it to China’s Envision Corporation in 2018 but continues to supply Nissan.
The cells for the Nissan come from a plant in Tennessee located near the Nissan assembly plant in Smyrna. AESC is also building a factory in Kentucky and has announced cooperation with Mercedes-Benz for a battery plant in Bibb County, Alabama, to supply the automaker’s Tuscaloosa assembly plant, which builds the EQS SUV and EQE SUV.
BMW cars are being produced at the Spartanburg, South Carolina factory
BMW has not said which electric vehicles will be assembled in Spartanburg. Opened in 1992 as BMW’s first production plant outside Germany, the plant currently builds the X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7 SUVs, with the production of the XM plug-in The SUV is expected to begin later this year.
The following BMW battery announcement Honda’s recent announcement of a battery factory in Ohio, while Hyundai recently said it would raise the deadline for build electric cars in the US These initiatives will help determine the position of future EVs to qualify for the federal tax credit under Amendment rules that emphasizes local assembly and adds requirements for minerals and supply chains.
In addition to using AESC cells for future US-market models, BMW is also testing new battery technologies, including solid state cells and a chemical mixed battery pack from startups Solid Power and Our Next Energy (ONE) respectively. But neither will appear in a production car for a while; BMW in 2021 estimates that solid-state batteries will not be ready until the end of the decade.